Anime Summer Season 2015 – Mid-Season Thoughts
We’re slightly behind schedule because life has a tendency to get in the way ( and I wanted to catch God Eater 5 before I got started ), but it is yet again time to see how the animus are doing halfway into the season!
I’ve been dropping a lot more shows this season than any season since I started doing this. At least part of that is because I’ve become a lot more discerning in my palate, and a lot less patient with what I’m willing to put up with. Several shows were dropped not because I thought they were bad, as such, but more that I didn’t feel like they were for me. More on that when we get to them
First we have one completed show, since Nagato Yuki-chan ran into the summer season a bit.
Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu
It pretty much ended as I thought it would: With absolutely fuck-all being resolved, and virtually no progress to speak of.
In fact, I felt the ending basically just highlighted how pointless everything that came before it was.
And because the manga is still ongoing, of course we couldn’t have any resolution. This anime was made to promote the manga getting into full swing again, and after watching this I don’t feel like touching the manga at all. Good job!
Ah well, at least the first few episodes were kinda cute.
This has gone back on hold. After 6 episodes, I still wasn’t feeling it. It just absolutely impossible to take the show seriously, especially when it seemed to want to be, and it wasn’t unintentionally amusing enough for me to care to watch it for that either.
While I say it’s on hold, it’s highly unlikely I’ll actually pick it back up again.
Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki
I’ve been informed that Kadokawa are only publishers, they don’t actually produce shows themselves. Which makes it all the more fascinating to me how basically every show they pick up has an interesting premise, and may even start out good, but then just falls apart. Sometimes quickly, other times slowly.
And Chaos Dragon just isn’t very interesting. Dull characters, strange actions, unclear motivations, and the Actual Dragon is one of the worst dragon designs I have ever seen. Very disappointing.
While a lot of people I know have gotten really invested in this show, I just don’t see it. I don’t see what’s appealing about this. I don’t find the characters particularly interesting, it’s really not sci-fi enough, and the drama just falls flat.
It’s nice for the people who like it. I’m happy for them. I’m just not one of them.
Even at merely 3 mins a week, I decided I would rather not watch this show.
A big part of it is the weird sexual tension between the three oldest siblings. Especially in how the second sister keeps assuming that her brother is trying to perv on either her or the first sister. While it has its cute moments, ultimately I would rather not.
I kept watching this show on a probational basis, all the way until the end of episode 6. And surprisingly it didn’t really do anything especially bad!
It’s a pretty solid show, with good animation, decent characters, and a nice, gritty style. There’s not really anything wrong with it.
I just decided that it wasn’t really in my wheelhouse. I didn’t really care about what was going to happen next. And at that point I might as well not.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight
This isn’t exactly definitely dropped. More… dropped for now. Put on hold. I want to see what people say about how it develops before I decide to go back in.
I got to the end of episode 4, and in spite of a fairly strong opening with episodes 0 and 1, I felt like it all just went down-hill from there. Very, very disappointing.
The villain is an absolute laughingstock and a clown, and there’s absolutely no way I can take him seriously. That the show is really trying to do so hurts it a lot. And it’s hurting Rui’s character more than anyone else.
Gelsadra and Tsubasa both seem under-developed and very one-note. That’s something that could actually be improved with further episodes, as new characters need time to grow.
Hajime is basically just reduced to “spouter of cryptic things”, with even bigger boobs than last time. Berg Katze is trapped in her, and all he ever seems to say is “let’s kill someone” and then “bitch bitch bitch” when Hajime says no or ignores him.
Pai-pai seems to have gotten the most development from the last series, while the other Gatchamans are basically now just defined by whether or not they’re against Crowds.
All in all, it just feels like they didn’t really know what to do with this series, and it’s turning the whole thing into a mess. Either that, or they’re intentionally making it a mess to spite the people who complained about the ending to the first series.
And it doesn’t help that whoever is doing the subs for Crunchy keeps fucking misgendering Rui! That annoys me so much, and kinda just makes my bad feelings towards the show worse. As far as I know, in Japanese they use neutral pronouns for Rui. Apparently the subbers can’t extend that courtesy.
Jitsu wa Watashi wa
In the end I couldn’t stick with it. As I’ve read the manga, I couldn’t lose the feeling of “I’ve seen this before, and done better”, or “this joke worked better in panel form”. They were also doing rewrites on some of the jokes that I honestly thought made them worse. And it felt like everything was just a lot more cringy in animated form versus stills.
Still, I hope at least someone gets some enjoyment out of it. I still think Shiragami is absolutely adorable in her animated form.
Joukamachi no Dandelion
I kept the three-strike system going for this show, and it actually cleared episode 2! With only two strikes out of three.
However, it all fell apart in episode 3, as they thought it would be funny to sexualise the 10-year-old girl, and it racked up three strikes pretty quickly. Honestly a shame, because it seemed like it could have been a decent show without the ecchi stuff.
Kyoukai no Rinne
I only got partway into the episode after my final thoughts for the Spring season before I decided that I really wasn’t interested in watching anything more of this. The fact that Sabato seemed like he’d be a regular character moving forward just made my decision a lot easier.
Honestly doesn’t feel like a big loss.
Pretty much the same deal as Rinne. After starting another episode of Ninja Slayer, I just felt like I wasn’t interested in what the show had turned into. It seemed a lot more interested in putting Nancy in sexually exploitative positions than anything else at that point, and I’m just not interested in watching that.
Ranpo Kitan – Game of Laplace
This might be a record for how fast my opinion of a show has turned.
End of episode 1: I am really interested in this!
Halfway through episode 3: I have absolutely no interest in this.
I think my main point of contention is that too many of the people in the show were unreal. I was fine with the main character, and the detective-senpai, being a bit weird. Having an unusual character or two to contrast against the regular people is honestly not a bad idea. See the popularity of Sherlock Holmes.
But during episode 2 I started noticing how they were far from the only ones. That actually quite a lot of the cast didn’t really behave like people. And that eroded my suspension of disbelief rather quickly. So at about the halfway point of episode 3 I just couldn’t be bothered any longer. Simple as that.
Rokka no Yuusha
I am not even really sure what happened here. I was really interested after the first episode. Even the second was okay. But then three and four happened, and by the end of five, I really didn’t feel like going on. I only watched the very start of six to see where they were going with that cliffhanger.
I can’t even really point to any particular cause as to why I didn’t like it. The best answer I can give is simply that I didn’t find it interesting. I didn’t care to the see the resolution of the story, nor to see the solution to the mystery.
So that was that. I hope someone is enjoying it, even though I couldn’t.
Akagami no Shirayukihime
This is tied for my favourite show this season, as it is a bit hard to decide between this and Overlord. Easier to say that the two of them are my favourite shows this season.
It is absolutely gorgeous, the occasional references/influences from Disney films are neat, and the various storylines from episode to episode have felt interesting. It is slowly growing the characters and keeping it all consistent.
Of course, the main attraction is Shirayuki herself. It’s so rare to see a lady character, a protagonist even, get to be strong and interesting, without also having to be a fight-girl. She’s a herbalist and a healer, and she’s working hard to achieve her goals. She’s passionate about her work in a way that feels believable. And while she’s not a fighter as such, she is resourceful and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She has her fears and insecurities to deal with, and she judges herself quite harshly at times, but when it comes down to it, she is confident in her abilities. She’ll even ask for help if necessary, but she also has a tendency to overwork herself.
Last episode I watched was probably the closest to a cliffhanger the show has had, so I am a bit anxious to see how it is resolved.
This show! This show. This show…
I think the best way to sum up this show is: soul-crushing. Both in its dark, and in its light moments. I don’t even quite know how to explain it.
But it is very, very good. I don’t count it in my top three, because I have such a mix of feeling anxious and feeling excited for each new episode. I don’t really know where it aims to go with all this. And that insecurity terrifies me. I have to do my best to see it through though!
If I’m sounding vague, it’s because this is one of those shows I don’t want to spoil, so I am doing my best to avoid any details on what has been going on. It is definitely worth checking out though. Within 2-3 episodes you should have a good idea of whether it’s for you or not, but at the very least, the first episode is well worth watching.
Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
Now this is something else entirely. How do I even describe this?
It’s not good. It’s not “so bad it’s good”. It’s rather… “so bad it’s fascinating”.
It is really bad, really terrible, awful writing, jokes that miss the mark, dumb characters, and the tone is all over the place. And sometimes, just sometimes, it almost seems a bit self-aware, like it’s trying to have fun with itself, trying to be a parody, but the writers just aren’t good enough to pull it off. I’m not sure if they lack the skill, or they’re just idiots.
But! It’s so bad in such a fascinating way. Almost endearing. I’m not sure I can even adequately explain it. I just can’t stop watching! I need to know what happens next! It’s a gold mine of gif-able scenes and reaction shots, and I am deeply curious where they’re going next. What are they going to do next? How much worse can it get?
They had an episode that was a straight riff on Apocalypse Now! They did “recon” with a whole fire-team! When a dragon showed up they treated it like a WoW raid! There’s a cat-girl named Persia! The Princess is named Piña Co Lada! She referred to tanks as Iron Elephants! Rory is going to Tokyo!
This can only end in hilarity.
Go! Princess Precure
Yes, it’s still going. Yes, Puff is still the cutest thing. Yes, it’s still a great show.
They do have a new OP now! I quite like it. And a nightmare-ish new ED that I would rather not watch.
There’s also been a neat twist! Neat twists are my favourite twists. I think.
I am somehow still watching this. I was about to say “I don’t know why”, but that’s a lie.
The first two episodes were pretty dull. So I was ready to drop it after episode 3, but then that became unintentionally hilarious, and they finally ate some gods! So it no longer felt like false advertising. I watched episode 4 to see if it kept that up, but no. It went back to being dull. I figured I’d give episode 5 a chance to redeem the show, and… it mostly failed.
However, episode 5 ended on such a strange cliffhanger, with a credits roll and everything, that I kinda feel like I need to see what they’re intending to do for episode 6.
I probably won’t stick to the end of this one, but they’ve got me until at least the start of the next episode.
While I was a little unsure after the first episode, this has turned out to be quite a darling little show.
We are slowly getting more characters into the mix, and they compliment Umaru pretty well, be it her at-home mode, or her outside mode. We’ve also gotten a better understanding of the relationship between the two siblings, how much they actually care for eachother, and the somewhat strange ways they have of showing it.
Ebina is adorable. Kirie is cute. And Sylphyn is… peculiar. Sylphyn has a very active personality. She seems to put her everything into anything she does.
Umaru is quite fond of those hamster hoodies, even though her personality seems to match better that of a cat.
OreMono is still progressing slowly, but surely, and doing it in an adorable way. Rinko verra smol.
Things pop up, and they are dealt with in ways uncommon to most anime. Though I feel like we’re at the point that we understand this show enough to see where it’s going with it. The formula is becoming well-known.
I have in my tired moments felt like maybe it’s becoming a bit stale, but in all honesty I think I’m still happy to have this show as part of my line-up.
I do wonder why Takeo still calls her Yamato though. You’d think that when you’re dating, you’d be on a first-name basis? Granted, I don’t know that much about Japanese societal norms, but she’s been calling him Takeo since day 1.
Definitely one of the shows I look forward to the most every week, along with Shirayukihime.
I’ve heard some people say they watch it for unintentional comedy and “so bad it’s good” reasons, but I just genuinely think it’s really good, with really interesting characters. I guess there really is a huge difference in taste.
Watching Skeletor and his crew exploring the unfamiliar lands around them, and slowly establishing a reputation has been a real treat for me so far.
I really enjoy the concept of how the guy just ended up stuck here, and decided “well, I better play the role then”.
Though I will admit that episode 5 and 6 have slowed things down a bit. Skeletor and his most human-looking minion have gone undercover at the adventurer’s guild in a nearby town, to learn more of how this world works, and to hopefully earn some local currency, as the money from Yggdrasil would probably either not be valid, or raise too many questions.
While an interesting concept, it does mean a lot of the more interesting characters don’t really get to feature as much, and other, less interesting characters are taking up their space. It is also making the cracks in the foundation more visible.
Overlord is another Kadokawa-published show, and I am really hoping it’s not going to fall prey to what I’ve come to call the “Kadokawa-curse”. Even interesting shows that start out good will eventually fall apart, it seems.
Personally, I’d say the most problematic crack in Overlord is its attitude towards women. It’s already showed a little, especially with how Albedo, ostensibly Nazarick’s most powerful inhabitant after Skeletor himself, hasn’t really been allowed to do anything except hang around and look good.
But then in episode 6 it becomes a little more evident as the adventuring party Skeletor ended up with are making banter around the campfire. Like, how their group has such good teamwork and friendship because there aren’t any girls in it. “Everyone knows you can’t have girls in the party, they only cause trouble.” And then lines like “women instinctively flock to powerful men”, or “women are so troublesome”. Now, if it was going somewhere with this, like showing how backwards their attitudes are, with Skeletor even just thinking to himself “wow, these people actually believe that”, that would be one thing. But there’s nothing like that. No protest, silent or otherwise, is raised to these assertions, and they’re apparently just accepted as fact.
I’m not about to drop the show for this though. If it gets worse, and/or other problems show up, then this will contribute, but I’m still on board. If nothing else, I have to find out how that giant hamster fits into all this.
Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold
While it is not quite as “so bad it’s good” as it was earlier on in the series, it still amuses me enough to keep watching. Plus it’s ending on episode 13, so I think I can last three more episodes. If it went to 24+, I probably would have dropped it about now.
I do wonder though, do all the Saint Seiya shows have such a penchant for killing off characters? It could honestly put George R R Martin to shame. At the outset I think it had like 13 good characters, and 9 bad characters, and per the end of episode 10 we have: One good character definitely alive, four more good characters maybe alive, one bad character possibly alive (after kinda turning good), and one new bad character showing up. So out of the 22 main characters it started with, 16 are confirmed dead after 10 episodes. And then there’s the side-characters and civilians that have died in countless numbers… what age-group is this show aimed at? Because even compared to A Song Of Ice And Fire/Game of Thrones, that’s quite impressive.
Sore ga Seiyuu!
This hasn’t quite turned out how I expected it to. Though I’m sure it’s quite accurate to the actual life of a voice-actor. I just didn’t have any idea.
It is sweet though, the three girls are getting very good chemistry with eachother, and the show is taking care to display both the good sides, and the bad sides of this work. The joy, and the heart-break.
Though I think the biggest surprise for me was the radio show they ended up doing, and how they’re now trying to be turned into an idol unit. Considering how the show has gone so far, it’s hard to make any predictions as to whether or not they’ll succeed, but that’s part of why it’s interesting to keep watching them, and following their dreams.
The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls 2nd Season
I wasn’t expecting too much of the second series of this show, so I can safely say it’s turned out much better than I expected.
While the first series was mostly about them just building themselves up as idols, with adversity playing a lesser role to the overall theme; the second series seems to focus a lot more on the adversity. Things have been shook up, the girls don’t really know what to do, and they have to try new things they aren’t all that comfortable with.
There’s been a lot of very heartfelt moments, sweet moments, bittersweet moments, sad moments, and I think it’s just showing that it’s a very strong show. It has found its feet, it knows what it’s doing, and it wants to take us on an emotional ride. I’ve already shed tears for several episodes, and I expect more to come.
Omg, this show is so adorable. I think that’s its only goal in life. I think that’s the only thing the design doc said: “It’s adorable”.
Wakaba struggling with how friendship works, and the other three doing their best to guide her through it, is something I am very invested in. While Shirayukihime and Overlord might be tied for first place this season, Wakaba Girl is definitely #3.
While Wakaba is the clear focus of the show, the other three also have distinct personalities, and I just think the show does a really good job of selling its premise.
That’s it for the mid-season thoughts! I think this might be the least amount of shows I’ve been watching concurrently since I started this nonsense last year, and it’s actually kinda refreshing.
See you again when it’s time for the end-of-season wrap-up.